Ways of preventing domestic violence
Domestic and sexual violence are serious issues in our society. With its prevalence on the rise, we need not wait for November to talk about this problem.
This kind of violence can happen to heterosexual or same sex partners. It usually exists along a range- from a single episode of violence to severe episodes over a period of time.
Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, indicate that nearly one in five adult women, and one in seven adult men, have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Also, one in six women and one in 12 men, have experienced sexual violence from their significant other. This includes rape, sexual coercion and unwanted sexual contact. Ten percent of women and two percent of men, report having been stalked by an intimate partner.
A recent study by the Center for Disease Control, found that one in every four women has been severely assaulted by a spouse or partner. The rate being on the high, a lot of ladies are concerned about their safety as females are the most common victims of domestic violence.
A number of people replace violence with intimidation and bullying. Hence, bullies believe they can always have their way by threatening, and intimidating others to achieve their goals, which most times, translate into how they behave in their relationships.
Violent habits get to thrive where there are no witnesses and accountability. To worsen situations, majority of domestic violence victims, often don’t reach out for help as there is a certain degree of shame associated with being abused by a person they have chosen to love. Instead, the abused would rather suffer in silence than admit that their loved one has hit them or injured them.
Here are few signs to note in breaking the cycle of violence around you.
It can happen to anybody- black, white, old, young, poor, rich, educated and not educated. Often time, violence can actually start at the beginning of a relationship, and at other times, it takes months or years to show. Generally, there are some red flags that an abuser may display at any point in an affair.
Abusers always prefer that their victims should be kept isolated since it makes it easier to control them. The same for symbolic violence which involves destroying items of value to the other person in the relationship. The intent here, is to intimidate the other person and cause emotional distress. Getting rid of wedding photographs, destroying personal properties or even abusing a loved one are all red flags.
Domestic violence abusers usually show increasing signs of anxiety and depression; like, agitation, sadness, emotional mood swings and persistent crying. Victims are often shell-shocked they are virtually frozen stiff by the stress: thus, making excuses for the abuser’s behavior until when it is too late.
They get segregated from their former friendships such as best friends, former boyfriends/girlfriends, reduce contact with family, neighbours etc. They stop responding when you reach out to them and even deny the abuse.
You have got to accept what you see. Denial is the biggest contributor to domestic violence. This is because a lot of people underestimate the threat of domestic violence and hardly recognize the red signs like history of intimidation, overly jealousy behavior and possessiveness.
All these are psychological warning of potential danger. So if you notice any kind of danger, be sensible to recognize it as danger and take action.
Intuition is the best tool in preventing domestic violence, a lot of ladies die every year in the hands of their lover. Always trust your intuition, do not try to see reason or normalize violent behaviour witnessed. Stop the debate of questioning your own observations, human brains are hardwired to pick up signs of danger that tells one that something is wrong. When you feel that a person is in danger, it is most likely he or she is.
Never legitimize any kind of violence in relationship as a way of handling disagreements, it’s never justified. A little push can become a swinging fist or weapon exerted aggressively. Know that once violence happens more than twice, the tendency of it happening again is higher. Abuse almost always escalates when there is no accountability.
Feel free to speak out when a close pal is being subjected to domestic abuse. Many friends and relatives are always reluctant to interfere, out of respect for the individual’s personal space. Please whatever you decide to do, never turn the other way by remaining quiet.
Be sure to get and present evidence to the victim, carry them along so they will know that you are on their side, and their safety is your major concern. Remember that they are like locked in a cage of self denial and probably have no idea of what is happening to them.
Make sure the abuser is seriously held accountable for his/her actions, that their outburst will no longer be condoled, by standing your ground as they also need help. Report them to authority if they refuse to seek professional help.
Get the word out, assist non-governmental organizations, use domestic violence hotline and even the police, if necessary, as you cannot do it all by yourself. These different organizations can help find a safe place for the victims to live, set them up in new jobs and even help their children in school as they have all the strategies and resource to assist a person hop out of an abusive union safely and successfully.
Taking the above steps to a large extent, can help prevent domestic violence before it happens. As difficult as some of them may sound, it’s likely to save a soul. Use your power as a consumer and refuse to support the culture that is perpetuated in music, movies, television, games and the media that glorifies violence, specifically towards women.